Awhile back My Krodie introduced me to Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" [my review]. I didn't know Haldeman's name before. Not long after I looked at a couple of new books that were sitting in my unread books pile. Both were books that had caught my attention in book stores at least three times so I bought them. Both were by Joe Haldeman and I hadn't noticed.
I'm really liking Haldeman's stuff. He's a sci-fi writer who has respect for, and tries to use reality based science in his work. When he departs from the solid science he admits it.
So I just finished reading "Marsbound". It breaks into three parts.
In the first part we follow a 19 year old woman as she and her family go to Mars. It tells of their selection, their trip to and then up the space elevator anchored near the Galapagos Islands, the voyage to Mars, life on Mars, and what a horrible bitch the colony director is.
In the second part the main character discovers another species living on Mars. They're not native to Mars. They don't know anything about their own technology. They have a disease that can be transmitted to young humans for some reason. (The author acknowledges that this should be impossible.)
In the third part a space station has been thrown together so that Earth humans and the Mars humans and aliens can interact without breaking quarantine. Don't want that disease getting loose on Earth after all. Here we find out about the alien's past, make contact with another alien species, and get good and shaken up in the last few chapters. I'd like to be more specific, but don't want to give away spoilers.
OK, one spoiler. I will say that I enjoyed the author starting making the director out to be a horrible person early on, making it look like he was going to turn her into a more human character with rationale behind her horribleness only to end up saying that was just the more central characters trying to assume that she had good reasons behind her nastiness. In the end she's just a Stalin wannabe.
I recommend the book for science fiction fans. If this isn't the kind of book you like then you won't like this book.